sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

May 7, 2011

Mother’s Day Special: 20 Year of Celebrity “Bump Watch”

Filed under: society — Tags: , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 6:01 am

In the good ol’ days you couldn’t say the word “pregnant” on TV.  Now you can say it, but you won’t.  Instead we use all sort of cutesy expressions, like “baby bump” which is symptomatic of an obsession.  To be sure, people are always mindful of their talk about pregnancy because there is the obvious sexual side of the “condition”.  Plus, the superstitious don’t want to jinx the baby and the labor.  But when old expressions like “she’s expecting” are respectful, to me “baby bump” is a verbal equivalent of strangers feeling a pregnant woman’s stomach.

Fascination with celebrity pregnancy is a fairly recent phenomena, dating no further back then 1991 pregnant Demi Moore Vanity Fair cover.

The photo set the trend of maternity shots among us mortals. I confess, I'm the biggest offender in this department. I had my pictures taken when I was pregnant, and one of them is blown up 8X10 and hanging on the wall. I suppose I could have framed a wedding picture or some other version of slender me, but no.

Even though we like to drag them down to our level, stars are interesting because they are different from us.  A half a century ago when childbearing was commonplace celebrity “bump watch” didn’t exist.  Today pregnancy is a twice in a lifetime event, and many women delay parenting so much that they can no longer conceive.  Pregnancy pampering is nothing new, but now it’s getting more and more elaborate and expensive, complete with massages, photography and chic wardrobe, all spearheaded by Hollywood starlets.  I’m not trying to suggest that we as a society should cease to celebrate pregnancy, but to point out that the reason we celebrate it is because it became increasingly rare.



  1. The thing I take issue with: the way H’wood types make older age pregnancy look like the new normal.

    Many of those H’wood ladies are starting motherhood in their 40’s, it seems like. But in the really real world, a lot of women have trouble conceiving when past the 30s.

    In todays American culture, it just seems like women get lulled into the idea that “there’s always time.”

    When there is not. Tick tock, tick tock.

    Comment by nooneofanyimport — May 8, 2011 @ 4:32 am

    • H’wood women don’t necessarily tell you how they conceived, and often it’s obviously done with donor eggs. Susan Sarandon had a child at 46, it can’t be her own eggs.

      Comment by edge of the sandbox — May 8, 2011 @ 4:42 am

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